Stones and Painted Rocks…

As Janet and I were finishing the outside cleanup for the coming winter, one of the last things that we did in the yard was to carefully remove and store little painted rocks that mysteriously appeared in our yard last spring. Throughout the summer, they are something that we got used to seeing each time we went to the mailbox or took a walk past our home.

It all started this past spring when the Coronavirus was running rampant and the schools in the area went on lockdown. One day, when Janet and I took Hank for a walk, we noticed painted stones near the trunks of some trees in our neighborhood. Ironically, we a few in our yard and as we walked, we noticed others throughout our entire neighborhood.

Nobody seemed to know how they got there – until we passed a home on the next block and were surprised to find a flower bed filled with hand painted rocks with all kinds of messages. Some had the proverbial smiley faces and others had images of flowers or hearts – some even with words. It was awesome!

Clearly, some creative Mom or Dad spent some time with their young children creating these awesome pieces of art. In fact, they really brightened up the block and we started a habit of looking for the little masterpieces on our walks. We hope that they brought a smile to others who passed our home as much as we enjoyed having them on our property.

When we first saw them, I wanted to pick them up and keep them safe. But, the more we thought about it, the more we realized that they really belonged to the neighborhood and if they disappeared, then it was meant to be. However, this fall, all of the painted treasures were still out in front and we even found a new one down the block that we had never seen before! What a neat surprise that brought a smile to our faces.

Clearly, we will return the painted rocks to their place near the street in the spring. We just didn’t want them to get lost when the snowplows came down the street this winter. So I washed them, safely wrapped them up and put them away until the it will be safe to return them to their places come spring.

The Bible is full of references to rocks, stones, monuments and alters. In the Old Testament times, it was customary to dig wells, build alters and mark important places and events. One of the most notable monuments was built by the Israelites to mark the place where they crossed the Jordan River and entered the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, after the death of Moses. It was a God ordained journey and the priests led the procession!

We are told in Joshua 4:8-9, “So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the LORD had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.”

So, as you can see, rocks and stones were, and are, used to mark important places. My encouragement tonight is that God marks our hearts with important events in our spiritual lives and we still use physical markers to remember our loved ones and memorable occasions. My prayer is that we will notice the little things that are worth celebrating, and remembering, in this life that is passing all too quickly. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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